loose ends and holiday deadlines

In high school and college I would race to make gifts during this season. Late nights spent in my grandfather or neighbor’s wood shop, hustling to complete the gifts by Christmas. This season brought on that same feeling again with a run of 13 cherry wooden carriers. As always, I underestimated the amount of time it takes to do a quality job. Half were done for Christmas day (complimented by the faint smell of linseed oil) and the other half became New Year’s presents to unexpectant friends.

They may be late for Christmas 2020, but this is the first gift of 2021. There’s usually a silver lining in each miss.

nested basket set

The loose end was the greenwood lounge chair. It’s of red oak with a stained hickory bark seat. Sits lower and a bit wider than my recent chairs. I built this over the summer and hung the frame on the shop wall. At that time I thought it needed a red seat but didn’t see a good option for it. A red Shaker tape weave didn’t seem right. Possibly red cord though I didn’t seek out source. That idea didn’t feel right either though.

This past week I decided to take it down and complete it. The bark seat comes from the all the outer bark from this past spring’s hickory harvest. It has significant striations and is a little thick, which makes for a challenge in getting a tight weave. It’s the perfect surface to experiment with staining. This has a walnut oil stain on the bark that went on evenly and compliments to garnet shellac on the red oak frame. The combination warms both the wood and the bark, something that is lacking from an earlier chairs with the same materials that only received oil during the finish process.

Baskets and a chair, finished by year end 2020. The year brought plenty of challenges but also time with family, time in the shop and the start of a writing project. 2020 was challenging, frustrating, and stressful yet there is much for which to be grateful. Excited for the possibilities of ’21.

Thanks for reading, sharing and following along. Wishing you a joyful new year.

peace, andy

upcoming classes at Pine Croft

Pine Croft (in Berea, KY) will host a series of classes this April and May, 2021. I have two classes on the schedule: a wooden carrier class April 10 & 11 and the greenwood stool April 30, May 1 & 2. The wooden carrier is nearly full, if it hasn’t reached capacity yet, and there are a couple of spots remaining in the greenwood class. Each class will host a maximum of six students.

For those who are not acquainted with Pine Croft – in it’s previous life it was the Kelly Mehler School of Woodworking. Berea College now owns the property and is reopening the wood school as The Woodworking School at Pine Croft. I’m helping, both as an administrator and an instructor, to get the school up and running again. 2020 was a wash, with safety precautions knocking down our scheduled classes. We’re planning a reduced schedule for the upcoming spring and will adjust if conditions require it.

Berea’s beautiful in the spring, hope you’ll consider a class. Take a look at the precautions listed on the Pine Croft site – we’re planning on courses and will evaluate again as the spring approaches. Because of the uncertainty, the registration deposit is $100 to hold a spot and there’s a full refund (on both the deposit and the class cost) if we need to cancel.

I’ll teach two classes and assist a couple of other great courses: Aspen Golann‘s Carving Class in April and again when Megan Fitzpatrick teaches the Dutch Tool Chest in May. Excited to teach alongside them. Here’s hoping that spring’s a breath of fresh air.

detail: wooden carrier handle